New Delhi: India has produced 299.80 lakh tonne sugar as of April 15 during the current October-September 2017-18 season, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said here on Tuesday.
"Sugar production in the current season upto April 15, has crossed the expected levels and the Indian sugar industry has already produced 299.80 lakh tonne," ISMA said in a statement, adding that, "the actual sugar production upto April 15 is already 50 lakh tonne more than the estimated sugar consumption for the whole season upto September 30".
Out of the total 524 sugar mills which operated in the ongoing season, 227 were crushing sugarcane as on April 15, it said.
The major producers -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka -- have so far produced 104.98 lakh tonnes, 104.8 lakh tonnes and 36.3 lakh tonnes, the data showed.
"Since 227 sugar mills are still crushing sugarcane, there will be a further addition to the stocks which will only increase the surplus sugar availability over and above the domestic requirement," the statement said.
The association further said that due to the high stocks, the market price of the sweetener across the country is lower by around Rs 8 per kilogram than the production cost.
According to ISMA, sugar mills have been unable to pay cane prices to farmers due to the depressed sugar prices.
"As on March 15, the cane price arrears reported to the government was already over Rs 18,000 crore across the country. Since the sugar prices have only fallen from therein, the cane price arrears would have crossed Rs 20,000 crore, which would be the highest ever at this time in any of the past seasons."